Do you know what is ironic?
I am currently studying for a job in a field that is on its downward path. I am investing both time and money into a path that may no longer hold the same importance as it does now. I constantly enter the field searching for stories, interviewing various individuals, gaining their thoughts towards topics and it terrfies me that I may not even have a job once I graduate. That all this hard work may not even ‘pay off’.
As I stated in my previous post “The Future of Journalism“, due to funding cuts forcing media platforms to reduce the number of available journalists working for their company, the field is slowly dying. There are less available jobs for university graduates to apply for and secure.
The Huffington Post states that readers will on average spend only 15 seconds or less upon your website before moving on. This makes it much more difficult for a journalist to acquire its readers attention for their story if they only have 15 seconds to make an impression and hopefully keep the reader.
I have come to the opinion that now, as both a creative writer as well as a studying journalist, I must learn to adapt and quickly. I must learn how to use social media to publicise my work, and make sure my work stays relevant.
If I have only 15 seconds to draw a reader in, I must make the beginning entertaining and insightful also.
My work must be different from everyone elses and although difficult to achieve, it must be completed.
I spoke about freelance journalism also in the same post . I still hold the same opinion, but in greater intensity. Perhaps by working freelance you can draw the eye of larger companies/ individuals and secure a job working for them. Job security is not relevant in the journalism field and that is why it is a necessity to make yourself remain relevant.
- Adapt to the new world (Social Media is your biggest friend).
- Freelance, perhaps even do what I am doing and create your own website to publicise your work.
- Make your work stand out.
- Research your topics. Go over your information many times before releasing it.
There have been far too many stories about stories not being researched thoroughly before being released. If we are to save the field, we must regain confidence in the public sphere. Our words must be truthful and honest. A story is a story, minus your own bias towards the topic.
Journalism must seek to minimise as much bias as possible from the field. It is hard as bias appears everywhere but by taking necessary precautions, it can be minimised.
Reuters Institute (a globally focused researched centre that studies the media, its trends, developments and forecasts) conducted research into various countries that had ‘The Guardian’ media platform on their view towards the news. Statistics were shown to public and they are shocking. According to The Guardian;
Australia: 56% of the population try to avoid the news.
Germany: About 50% of the population trust the news. Although complaint has come forth on the media for not providing news that may harm the corporatist consensus.
UK: There has been a significant fall from 50% to 43% of the population who trust the news. This occurred in 12 months.
US: In the US currently, trust in the news currently sits at 38% at the time of the published The Guardian news article.
As shown by the statistics, it is critical as a journalist or anyone telling a story, that we must be honest and strive to remove bias from our work of non-fiction.
We must try our hardest to seek to reclaim confidence in the public eye. I ask of you, reader, if you cannot trust the news, research the news yourself from every angle. Trust your own perception of topics until trust is regained once more.
It will not be much longer, I hope.